Ponderosa Baptist Church is now Ponderosa Bible Church.
The church is located just south of Home Depot on the Beeline Highway.
Dr. Joe Falkner, the senior pastor, reports the name change was necessary because Baptist is confusing to a lot of people.
“There are at least 27 different Baptist groups in the country ranging from ultra-conservative to very liberal. Most people did not know we were associated with the Conservative Baptist Association, which is a fellowship and not a denomination. We will continue that fellowship, but wanted to emphasize in our name what Ponderosa is all about,” added Dr. Falkner.
“We teach the Bible, and we believe a person does not need to commit intellectual suicide to believe every word that God has preserved in the Scriptures.”
Payson citizens may have noticed the church campus expansion as they have driven by it on the Beeline Highway. The parking lot has been completed and the auditorium is currently being renovated to hold more people.
When asked why he thought the church had grown so much in the past few years, Dr. Falkner credits that growth with the effective teaching of the Bible.
“For many years of church history, the Bible was chained to the pulpit and no one but the clergy were allowed to read it. But if God’s Word is really His love letter to the world, people not only need to read it, but learn how it can impact their lives daily. We teach the Bible as Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. People have responded to our style of teaching, and we continue to add more room.”
Ponderosa Bible Church offers two different worship services on Sunday morning. The 9 a.m. service features traditional music and hymns. The 10:30 service has contemporary music geared for younger adults. The message is the same in both services, and a nursery is provided at both.
To try to make room for the increased growth, the church offered three services a couple of years ago, but after Dr. Falkner suffered a heart attack, the services were cut back to the two that the church currently has each week.
“Now we are trying to simply add more room rather than additional meeting times,” Pastor Falkner explained.
The church recently purchased the buildings that were formerly Farmers Insurance office at the corner of Beeline and Roundup Road. This summer the building will be dedicated as a teen center for the community, providing recreation as well as space for study and one-on-one tutoring for students.